April 25 (Reuters) - WCI Communities has hired banks for an initial public offering later this year, according to two sources familiar with the matter, as the formerly bankrupt luxury home builder tries to capitalize on a recovery in the U.S. housing sector.
The Bonita Springs, Florida-based company has hired Citigroup Inc and Credit Suisse to lead the deal, the sources said.
The people asked not to be named because the matter is not public.
Under chairman Carl Icahn, WCI Communities filed for bankruptcy in August 2008 after being hit hard during the housing downturn and failing to obtain financing.
WCI Communities' bankruptcy filing was among the biggest in builder bankruptcies, which also included Tousa Inc and Levitt & Sons.
After eliminating $2 billion in debt, WCI emerged from bankruptcy in September 2009 as a private company, with private investment firm Monarch Alternative Capital as its largest shareholder.
Last year, WCI reported sales of 461 new homes in Florida which totaled $185.9 million, up 73 percent from the year prior.
Citigroup and Credit Suisse declined to comment. WCI and Monarch could not be reached for comment.
WCI is hoping to capitalize on a rebound in the U.S. housing sector, which has encouraged other companies including Taylor Morrison Home Corp, Tri Pointe Homes Inc and Boise Cascade Co to pursue IPOs.